City of Austin Performance Report 2014-15

EMS Communications Center Average Call Processing Time (In Seconds)

Measure Description
The first step in the response time continuum is quick and accurate processing of 9-1-1 calls through the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system. The measure tracks the elapsed time from when EMS receives a 9-1-1 call (initiation) to the dispatch of an ambulance.
Calculation Method
This measure is the average of all actual processing times from CAD records.
FY 2014-15 Results
The goal for the department is to have an average call processing time of less than 75 seconds. In FY 2014-15, the average call processing time was 70.2 seconds. This was 4.8 seconds better than the goal of 75 seconds, but an increase from the performance in FY 2013-14.
Assessment of Results
Communications call processing occurs in two phases. The first phase is the initial call screening, where an address is entered into the CAD system. The second phase is where a separate communications medic utilizes the CAD system to dispatch the closest unit. The increase in processing time can be attributed to the increase in the amount of time to complete the first phase. This is primarily due to the rise in cell phone use, which requires the caller to provide the location of the emergency and the medic must manually enter the data into CAD. Phone calls from landline phones automatically populate the address into the CAD system. Although EMS performed better than the targeted goal for FY 2014-15, the average call processing time has increased from FY 2013-14.
Picture of dispatcher using the computer at her desk.
Next Steps
EMS will continue to monitor average call processing times since it is a critical piece of the overall response continuum. In future years, EMS will measure the percent of calls processed within 90 seconds, emerging standards are pointing to 90% of calls processed within 90 seconds.
Contact Information
For more information contact Jasper Brown, Chief of Staff, at (512) 972-7201.